Horror and Plague Editor’s Note Issue 101
Horror films remain enduringly popular among audiences, critics and scholars. We received many more worthy submissions than could be included in the issue. The now classic films of the 1960s and 1970s, so memorably designated as the American Nightmare, took on complex political and social ramifications. Those films still inspire and resonate in contemporary cinema and horror films continue to explore racial, sexual and psychic tensions and conflicts. As the global pandemic rages socially, economically and culturally, it infests past films with the resonance of plague years: undoubtedly a new wave of pandemic horror is gestating.
The articles collected here respond to horror in all its manifestations from a range of generic, aesthetic, political and theoretical perspectives. Significant and powerful films of recent years are subjects of close analysis: It Follows, Get out, Hereditary, Berberian Sound Studio, A Cure for Wellness. These films are largely from the rich American tradition but The Last Serb in Croatia takes the zombie film transnationally into complex, political satire. A modern classic from the 1970s – The Exorcist – is explored in a highly original diary of the psychological nuances and deep-seated fears of horror spectatorship. Other writers explore the limits and evolution of the genre itself.
Finally, we feature tributes to two important film artists who passed away this year – Ennio Morricone and Jaime Hermosillo.
This issue was designed by Sebastian Jagoe.
A call for submissions for issue 102 – 21st Century Cinema – is on the website.